Things are moving at breakneck speed inside Twitter’s offices under Elon Musk’s mercurial control. The emphasis is on product development, with the revival of Twitter Blue and Vine taking precedence. Amidst the chaos of a massive layoff, a few Twitter products are also on the chopping block, and a few have been put on indefinite hold.
Casey Newton, a tech journalist, writes in the latest edition of his Platformer newsletter that Twitter’s own newsletter feature called Revue will be shutting down later this year. Twitter purchased the newsletter service in January 2021, at the height of Substack’s newsletter hype. It’s a perplexing decision, given Musk’s recent comments about assisting creators in earning a living and compensating them by milking verified users of a Twitter Blue subscription fee.
The most significant advantage of Revue was that Twitter only took a 5% cut of the creator’s net subscription earnings, whereas Substack took a 10% cut at the time. Twitter eventually allowed writers to include links to their newsletters in their Twitter profiles. A few weeks later, Twitter added a subscribe button to tweets that shared a Revue newsletter article, allowing viewers to subscribe without having to sign up for an email.
Content is king, but only if it’s video
Notes is the next product to go under the regime of Twitter’s new CEO. Twitter launched a Note feature in June 2022, allowing users to publish long-form articles of up to 2,500 words without worrying about character limits or going through the ordeal of writing threads. A dedicated Write option was added to the left pane, which launched a basic word processing system.
Users could embed tweets and images in their articles, and format the whole thing with a headline and information about their Twitter profile, just like a regular news article. Each note had its own unique URL, allowing readers to read it without being redirected into the Twitter ecosystem. Tweets with a Note link displayed a preview of the article and could be interacted with just like any other tweet on the social media timeline.
So far, the Note feature has been limited to testing with a small group of users, but Twitter has plans to expand it to more interested parties. The Notes feature has reportedly been placed on a “indefinite” hiatus at Musk’s request. Regardless of how promising and convenient it appears, it appears that Musk’s focus is on videos with features such as paywalled clips and bringing back Vine to compete with TikTok.